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Redsox9  (Level: 161.8 - Posts: 1400)
Wed, 2nd Jun '10 9:19 PM


As an umpire, I hate to see this but it happened. A blown call by the first base umpire cost him a perfect game. Now in the 20 years of umpiring I mught have missed one or two calls myself. Make that one or two hundred. It will be shown over and over and we as umpires hate to be the center of attention. If we are not noticed then we have done a good job. This call can't be changed and we have to live with it. So who said life is fair. It is just a shame that it happened. There is one good thing about this, it wasn't against the Sox.

Daveguth  (Level: 269.4 - Posts: 1636)
Wed, 2nd Jun '10 9:39 PM

There's always been talk of it going the other way--an umpire making a bad call to help a guy get a perfect game (or "just" a no-hitter).

In 1972, Milt Pappas was one strike away from a perfect game. Umpire Bruce Froemming called a ball on very close 2-2 and 3-2 pitches. (Milt Pappas is STILL angry to this day and won't talk to Froemming.)

I wonder if umps are so concerned about the appearance that they helped the player that they are prone to err in the opposite direction. The reply that I saw sure suggests that the ump mesed up.

I know this will drive you nuts, Craig, but perhaps an instant reply would have been nice???

Mplaw51  (Level: 185.5 - Posts: 1580)
Thu, 3rd Jun '10 6:19 AM

It was a shame really. Easy for me to say that it didn't look like a bang bang play on replay. He was out by a step. The worst thing about it was that it came at the last out of a perfect game. I've seen many plays this season that are incorrect on replay. Its only June. Its a tough job but the percentage of error seems a bit high to me (not that I have a percentage in mind...). You have to wonder if the owners are going to start to make noise about replays and getting a certain number per game.

There are only 20 perfect games recorded. This would have been the third this year. Its been quite a year for baseball.

Mudcat  (Level: 4.2 - Posts: 13)
Thu, 3rd Jun '10 9:07 AM

I watched this game on Fox Detroit. At first I was totally outraged by the call and showed my displeasure by scaring the daylights out of my dog and pissing off my wife, who by the way was also upset about it. After a short cool-down and a glass of Rolling Rock I realized that the fans at home have the advantage of instant replay. Umpires don't have this luxury. The call was made by one of the most respected umpires in baseball and he was decent enough to go to the Tiger clubhouse and apologize to Galarraga and the Tigers. He said, "I just cost the kid a perfect game. I thought he beat the throw. I was convinced he beat the throw until I saw the replay". That takes guts but the bottom line is that he will have to live with it for a long time. I guess that's payback. BTW, Galarraga was his usual gracious self about the whole matter.

Garrybl  (Level: 294.3 - Posts: 6810)
Thu, 3rd Jun '10 9:26 AM

Daveguth will understand when i say that 'that's baseball'. Its imperfections are part of the charm.
We cant fix the rules to cover everything. Yes we sympathize with both parties but Gallaraga will get more kudos for the nearly perfect game than both the guys who actually achieved the feat this year.

Lynnm  (Level: 238.3 - Posts: 2056)
Thu, 3rd Jun '10 9:28 AM

Galarraga has been a gracious gentleman throughout, and Umpire Joyce did all he could or is permitted by rule to do afterward. That shows he is the honorable ump we've regarded him to be for over 20 years.

That was an amazing catch to record the 1st out in the 9th, too.

Goddess28  (Level: 92.6 - Posts: 5235)
Thu, 3rd Jun '10 10:02 AM

Gallaraga was a complete gentleman and professional about the whole thing.

Daveguth  (Level: 269.4 - Posts: 1636)
Thu, 3rd Jun '10 12:56 PM

I think the real "victim" here is the umpire Joyce. Gallaraga will do fine--forever remembered as the guy who "really pitched a perfect game." Joyce, an otherwise excellent umpire, will be remembered as "that guy who blew it."

But, with instant replay, his mistake would have been reversed and forever forgotten.

Barry, I do indeed understand "That's baseball." Imperfections are part of the human condition. Everywhere you look, someone is screwing up, and we all have to live with it.

But that doesn't mean we can't continue to improve things, particularly when it comes to fairness. Football and basketball have both gone to limited instant reply, and a great number of bad calls have been reversed. It hasn't been perfect, but important calls are now closer to being correct.

If a reasonable fix is available, then nothing, including baseball, should be exempt. If my boss fires me for an inappropriate reason, I don't say, "That's just my boss for you"--I appeal the decision. If an innocent person is unfairly convicted of a crime, we don't say "That's just the criminal justice system for you" and let it go at that. Heck, if something isn't fair in Sploofus, e.g., inconsistent verb tenses, we don't say "That's just Sploofus for you!" (Or do we?)

Of course, it's not a reasonable fix to have every play in baseball reviewed by the booth. Like the other sports, rules would be needed, e.g., the manager has only 1 or 2 review requests per game.

Mudcat  (Level: 4.2 - Posts: 13)
Thu, 3rd Jun '10 4:48 PM

Before todays game, manager Jim Leyland, a class guy himself, had Galarraga take the lineup card to Umpire Joyce who was behind the plate today. they exchanged pats on the back and their were tears in the eyes of Joyce when Galarraga went back to the dugout. Detroit fans, the best in baseball, gave the ump a courteous hand as he came on the field. Who say's their ain't no good guys left in sports?

Spacecat  (Level: 165.2 - Posts: 676)
Thu, 3rd Jun '10 8:18 PM

On 2 June 1995 Pedro Martinez of the Montral Expos pitched nine perfect innings agains the San Diego Padres. 27 straight outs. Because the Expos had failed to score the game went into extra innings. The Expos scored in the top of the 10th. The first batter for San Diego, Bip Roberts hit a double in the bottom of the 10th, but was unable to score. Expos won 1-0 but Perdo was not credited with a perfect game.
Mark Gardiner also of the Expos piched a no hit game for 9 innings against the LA Dodgers,( 2 days before Dennis Martinez pitched a certified perfect game). Montreal had failed to score In the 10th Gardiner lost his no hitter and the game.
The rules call for a completed game and in the case of a no hitter the opposing team must be held scoreless as well.

Daveguth  (Level: 269.4 - Posts: 1636)
Thu, 3rd Jun '10 8:37 PM

There are two additional "unofficial perfect games"--both quite remarkable.

1) In 1917, starting pitcher Babe Ruth walked the first batter and then was tossed from the game when he argued with the umpire. After reliever Ernie Shore came in, that runner was caught stealing. Shore then retired the next 26 straight. So, he officially pitched 9 innings, facing the minimum number of batters, but it wasn't "official" because it wasn't a complete game.

2) In 1959, Harvey Haddix pitched 12 perfect innings before he finally gave up a homer and lost the game in the 13th.

Instant reply was not used in either game.

Kaufman  (Level: 270.1 - Posts: 3942)
Thu, 3rd Jun '10 8:42 PM

The rules don't call for anything. The rules tell how the game is played. No-hitters and perfect games are artificial constructs, unofficial things we note that have no bearing on the game itself. The term was first used by a journalist. Meanwhile, the definition you cite was created by some small cabal called the "Statistical Accuracy Committee" less than two decades ago. If you think that's arbitrary and capricious, you wouldn't be alone.

Honor the achievement no matter how somebody labels it.

Dasfunk  (Level: 197.6 - Posts: 2312)
Thu, 3rd Jun '10 9:03 PM

Honestly? Galarraga had the misfortune of being the victim of a bad call that cost only a line in the record books. There are innumerable examples of missed calls that have had a far greater impact on the outcome of games - even championship games. The Tigers won - Armando Galarraga was given a Corvette by General Motors, and life goes on. It was the 27th win for a team that's already 5.5 games back in the American League Central division.

If baseball was able to overcome much more significant blown calls, like Don Denkinger's in the 1985 World Series, Tim Tschida falling for Chuck Knoblauch's phantom tag in the 1999 ALCS, Larry Barnett missing the obstruction in the '75 World Series, Drew Coble missing Kent "WWF" Hrbek knocking Ron Gant off the bag in the '91 Series, and nine gazillion other botched calls, the game will overcome a minor event like this one.

The fact is that Galarraga will be better remembered for the "guy that was robbed of a perfect game" than he would have been remembered as the guy who pitched the 21st perfect game in MLB history - and the 3rd (!) of 2010.

Daveguth  (Level: 269.4 - Posts: 1636)
Thu, 3rd Jun '10 9:27 PM

Just the fact that Spacecat and I can provide details about the "unofficial" perfect games indicates that those gems are equally (if not better) remembered. Not being "official" doesn't exclude it from the many forms of baseball literature, including the back of Gallaraga's 2011 baseball card.

And best of all, I think it will finally open up the door for more instant replays at MLB games.

Daveguth  (Level: 269.4 - Posts: 1636)
Fri, 4th Jun '10 12:45 AM

I'm sure we've alienated all of the non-baseball fans around here by now, but I have one more tidbit on near-perfect games.

In 1908, Hooks Willtse had a perfect game with two outs in the 9th and two strikes on the batter. The opposing batter, who was actually the opposing pitcher in a scoreless tie, leaned into, and got hit by, what would have been strike three. The umpire awarded the batter first base, but then admitted after the game he should have it called a strike! Wiltse settled for a regular ol' 10-inning no-hitter victory, 1-0.

See the trend here--three pitchers in history (Wiltse, Pappas, and Galarraga) have lost perfect games because the umpire sided with the other team. Yet there has never been a 27th out where anyone accused the umpire of helping the pitcher.

I know--not a huge sample size, but makes me wonder whether these umpires might have overcompensated a bit.

Kaufman  (Level: 270.1 - Posts: 3942)
Fri, 4th Jun '10 5:43 AM

Never? I've heard suggestions that Don Larsen was given a fairly generous strike zone for his final pitch.

Garrybl  (Level: 294.3 - Posts: 6810)
Fri, 4th Jun '10 9:32 AM

King (not ken) Kaufman provides the following list --yes a few political but basically sports:

Daveguth  (Level: 269.4 - Posts: 1636)
Fri, 4th Jun '10 10:15 AM

Yep, Ken, you're right about Larsen's perfecto. Now that you say that, I also remember discussion about that. And the Wikipedia article has some quotes from folks (including Mickey Mantle) who thought the last pitch was probably a ball. Dang umpires--unfortunately, they're conspicuously human.

Sounds like even more reason for instant replay! (I know--they would NEVER do it for balls and strikes.)

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